"An amazingly detailed and thoroughly readable account of the long march to the Euro. This is the stuff of a political thriller: the deal-making behind a currency constructed not just as a financial instrument but also as a way of overcoming centuries of conflict. Anyone interested in European politics and economics, as well as Europe's place in the wider world, would enjoy it."—George Soros"/>

The Euro The Battle for the New Global Currency David Marsh

Publication date:
15 Aug 2011
Yale University Press
352 pages: 235 x 156 x 27mm
22 b-w illus.

In this new, fully revised and updated edition, Marsh tells how complacency and recklessness have holed the Euro below the waterline, with Greece, Ireland and Portugal rescued from ruin via hastily assembled bail-out packages, amid rising resentment among countries and electorates bearing the cost. With the aid of copious interviews and previously untold stories, Marsh chronicles the monetary union’s rise and fall, and records how it is fragmenting into opposing blocs of creditor and debtor nations. He explains how politicians ignored years of financial imbalances heralding growing problems for the Euro, why the Euro has increased rather than lowered Germany’s economic dominance and why Greece and other hard-pressed Euro states will be forced to restructure their debts,

Marsh believes the Euro will not collapse, partly because China and Japan support it as an alternative to the fading dollar. However he concludes monetary union can survive only if it become a less ambitious grouping with fewer and more homogeneous members. “The battle to maintain the Euro as it was originally conceived has been lost. The new task will be to safeguard what is to come.”

David Marsh is chairman of the Germany-headquartered management consultancy SCCO International and co-chairman of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) that links central banks, sovereign funds and private sector financial groups. He is a frequent contributor to German and British publications, and he lectures widely on political, economic, and business issues. He lives in London.

"… a compelling political story … [Marsh has] an eye for captivating details."- Ralph Atkins, Financial Times, 2nd February 2009

"An exciting, interesting and very readable history of the euro…It is not just for economists or financiers. It’s a must-read for anybody running a business…David Marsh has researched his subject extensively…accessing both official and unofficial records…detailed description of key events and personalities adds colour, interest, and understanding to the evolution of the euro, making for an exciting read." - Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy, Management Today

"Marsh has achieved the seemingly impossible feat of making what the Brits tend to regard as a boring topic, best avoided, into a great story. What is more, it manages to be balanced, examining all the topical, as well as historical, issues." - William Keegan, The Observer

"Marsh has achieved the seemingly impossible feat of making what the Brits tend to regard as a boring topic, best avoided, into a great story. What is more, it manages to be balanced, examining all the topical, as well as historical, issues." - William Keegan, The Observer

"A very entertaining book … This account takes us right back to the beginning, to Charlemagne and beyond to show that monetary union has always been a potent symbol of territory and authority … and Marsh describes the intergovernmental wrangling in great style, including some incidents never before reported."
- David Lascelles, Financial World

"An important and highly readable book … Marsh brings to life the historical genesis, birth pangs and now remarkable achievements of [the Euro] … [Marsh is] one of the best German and European correspondents of The Financial Times – and a man who has better contacts in the German banking and political class than anyone else in the world … we now have a very good history of the currency written in a very non-technical and accessible way." - Denis MacShane, Tribune

"Entirely readable. Uncovering hitherto untapped archival material, [Marsh] adds to our understanding of the events that led up to the launch of the single currency … a gripping account." - Stewart Fleming, European Voice

"Gripping … Mr. Marsh’s book has extra value because it draws on hundreds of interviews with the bigwigs involved in setting up the Euro … and is built on the foundation of his earlier history of Germany’s Bundesbank. The result is an indispensable guide to monetary union." - Economist

"There are not many economists in Marsh’s generation who have been present at so many of the vital moments or who can call on such an impressive roster of interviewees as background research. He is especially good on the way that the two great European projects of our time – economic and political union – have counteracted each other.”
- Philip Collins, The Times

"What a time to write a book about the euro…..anyone who wants to understand why the euro project is where it is now, this book is indispensable. And that includes the armies of ‘Eurosceptics’."—Mark Johnson, Euromoney Magazine

"An excellent new book.” -David Smith

Watch the related video

In an interview with Olaf Storbeck, the International Economics Correspondent with
Germany's business daily Handelsblatt, David Marsh describes his view of the future
of the single currency.

Related links

Official Euro website